Saturday, July 15, 2006
The War President
(Image from Salon.com)
Fourteen people killed and five wounded in the bombing of a Sunni mosque in northern
The coach of
Gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint on a highway near
A body dressed in traditional Arab clothing, shot in the chest and showing signs of torture, was found in Aziziyah, 35 miles southeast of
Clashes between gunmen and police in
An Iraqi contractor working with the
A suicide car bomb exploded near a police checkpoint in eastern
Iraqi troops killed 23 insurgents and detained 147 suspects over the past 24 hours, the army said in a statement.
One person was killed and two wounded when a bomb placed inside a computer exploded inside an Internet cafe in central
Gunmen killed three brothers, two of them Iraqi soldiers, 20 km (12 miles) southeast of Baquba.
Two people were killed and seven wounded when clashes erupted overnight between gunmen and residents in the predominantly Sunni al-Fadhil area in central
Two people were killed and six arrested when Iraqi troops raided
Talabani's statement was issued late Friday to mark the 1958 coup that overthrew the Iraqi monarchy and led to years of turmoil until the Baath Party took control of the country in 1968. The party held power until it was removed by a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
"The country is facing dangers and heading toward sectarian strife," Talabani said.
Heading toward sectarian strife, Part 1: No one, including US forces, has stepped in to halt the sectarian cleansing operation engulfing
Shiite fighters, many in the uniforms of the new Iraqi national army or Iraqi security forces, are battling Sunni gunmen, in defiance of their duties to - and the authority of – the Nouri al-Maliki government. This conflict is nothing but outright civil war.
First the two hostile camps fought one another for
Were they the Mahdi Army, the Shia militia blamed for drilling holes in their victims’ eyes and limbs before executing them by the dozen? Or were they Sunni insurgents hunting down Shias to avenge last Sunday’s massacre, when Shia gunmen rampaged through an area called Jihad, pulling people from their cars and homes and shooting them in the streets?
Ali has a surname that could easily pass for Shia. His brother-in-law has an unmistakably Sunni name. They agreed that if they could determine that the gunmen were Shia, Ali would answer the door. If they were Sunnis, his brother-in-law would go.
Whoever didn’t answer the door would hide in the dog kennel on the roof.
Their Plan B was simpler: to dash 50 yards to their neighbours’ house — home to a dozen brothers. All Iraqi homes are awash with guns for self-defence in these merciless times. Together they would shoot it out with the gunmen — one of a dozen unsung Alamos now being fought nightly on Iraq’s blacked-out streets.
Heading toward sectarian strife, Part 3: Sunni families have fled their homes in
"What have I done wrong? What crime have my children committed?" cried a terrified mother.
"As you can see, I only grabbed a bag with some clothes for my children," she told Agence
"I couldn't take beds or more bags since we were fleeing on foot."
Priorities, priorities: In the mosques and streets of
``Dozens of innocent men, women and children are being killed for a couple of military men while they can be freed through negotiations,'' Sheik Abdul-Mahdi Karbalai told worshipers in the Shiite city of
Certainly the violence and chaos here hasn't stopped: Friday, 11 Iraqi soldiers were killed at a checkpoint, two mosques bombed and at least three people beheaded.
Yet sermons -- many by preachers allied with the U.S.-backed government -- were not aimed at rival sects, lawless militiamen, ineffective politicians or
They were aimed almost exclusively at
“I think we have turned a corner here in Ramadi. There is still a lot to do, but we’re on the right track,” said Army Colonel Sean MacFarland, who commands forces in and around the Sunni Muslim city of 400,000 people, 177km west of
MacFarland declined to predict how long it would take to pacify Ramadi, capital of the restive Anbar province.
Your Grandkid's Credit Card
The party of fiscal responsibility: Yesterday, the White House released its FY2007 mid-session budget review with great fanfare, celebrating its projection that the deficit will be nearly $300 billion this year.
Buried within the mid-session review, the White House reveals that it will ask Congress for another $110 billion for the wars in
If you add together the amounts already allocated, plus the appropriations expected to be approved this year ($116 billion) and next year, the total spending for
Congress has approved 432 (b) billion for military operations and other costs related to the war against terror since Nine-Eleven.
Cowards: Democrats pulled an Internet ad that showed flag-draped coffins Friday after Republicans and at least two Democrats demanded it be taken down on grounds the image was insensitive and not fit for a political commercial.
Bush’s war is a Republican war. They chose it. They made it happen. They should be held responsible for it. The blood of American soldiers who have died and been grievously wounded in this vanity war of choice is on their hands and there is nothing insensitive in saying so. If the needless deaths of our sons and daughters in a vanity war isn't a fit subject for political discussion, what in the hell is?
Larry Wilkerson: Ask Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Q. Define torture.
Q. Do we do torture?
Q. There have been dozens of homicides and more than a hundred deaths in
Q. If those cases were just the work of bad apples, why were the investigations dragged out so long? Why, for instance, did it take the Army two years before filing charges related to the homicides at Bagram Air Force Base in December 2002?
Q. Why are the sentences for the “bad apples” so light? Isn’t it the case that in these military courts martial, their military peers recognize they were following orders?
Documents and memos that have already made their way into the public domain make it clear that the Office of the Vice President bears responsibility for creating an environment conducive to the acts of torture and murder committed by
There is, in my view, insufficient evidence to walk into an American courtroom and win a legal case (though an international courtroom for war crimes might feel differently). But there is enough evidence for a soldier of long service -- someone like me with 31 years in the Army -- to know that what started with John Yoo, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes at the Pentagon, and several others, all under the watchful and willing eye of the Vice President, went down through the Secretary of Defense to the commanders in the field, and created two separate pressures that resulted in the violation of longstanding practice and law.
Joshua Frank: It was just last month when President Bush assured the world that the situation in
Sidney Blumenthal: President Bush was against diplomacy before he was for it. But with the collapse of
Just two years ago, he appeared before the Republican Convention boasting of his "swagger, which in
A homeowner in
Betty Baye: Americans may be divided over the war, but all of them should be troubled that, when researching their book "Cobra II," Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor found racist stereotyping even in the highest levels of the
Some will argue, of course, that the battlefield is no place for "political correctness" or claim that pelting enemies with ugly names is hardly new. In
But maybe that senior officer was a neo-Nazi or skinhead who managed to move up the ranks. And even if he wouldn't think of being part of such a group, his language screams out an attitude that would comfort them, and that's dangerous in an integrated military.
That officer is a walking, talking, living, breathing morale problem. Such language may be why some low-ranking soldiers accused of atrocities in Iraq seem to believe that ill-treatment of their prisoners is not just justified, but condoned by higher-ups.
Standing a short distance from his son's flower-covered coffin, Geoffrey Mason Sr. took a moment to take it all in: The scores of mourners walking slowly back to their cars, or gathering in small clusters around the grave, sobbing, hugging and remembering Army Spc. Collin Tyree Mason.
"I feel my son's spirit here," he said. "I feel my son's spirit in all of these people."
Mason, a 20-year-old